A Letter to Parents From the Superintendent

Dear Parents and Guardians of Catholic Academy and Parish School Students,

As has been previously shared, our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools have always had a strong relationship with our parents and guardians. This has contributed greatly to the success of our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools. The past three months have been a challenging time for families. Parents have dealt with their own jobs shifting to at-home work status or, even worse, having their jobs being eliminated altogether. Add to that, the stress of having to assist your children with their learning, which presented some additional challenges. I think the hardest part about the COVID-19 crisis has been the uncertain time frame and lack of consistent information from New York City and New York State officials.

Every day, updates and new developments are being shared by Governor Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio. Looking ahead, we are making plans to re-open our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in Brooklyn and Queens for the upcoming academic year (2020-2021). Though we cannot determine what the health conditions will look like for the Catholic Academies and Parish Schools, as we approach September, our goal is to return to in-class instruction with all the necessary safety precautions.

A Re-Opening School Task Force has been developed and convening weekly meetings, to develop a strategic plan for the re-opening of Catholic Academies and Parish Schools in September 2020. The implementation of this strategic plan will include a variety of health and safety precautions. It is highly likely that social-distancing requirements will necessitate the need to limit the number of students in a classroom/school building at one time. The summer will allow us time to further our plans and put the necessary measures in place. Our priority is to ensure that our students, teachers, and staff can confidently return to a safe and healthy school building, conducive to teaching, learning, and faith formation.

Our Catholic Academy and Parish School buildings might be empty, but their ministry of Catholic education endures. We continue to journey together though these difficult times. We must continue to act together to ensure that our Catholic Academies and Parish Schools will remain strong and healthy both now, and when we can gather together again in the future.

In preparation for the summer months of July and August, I offer you the following prayer to share with your family:

Father, Creator of all, thank You for summer!
Thank you for the warmth of the sun and the increased daylight.
Thank You for the beauty I see all around me and for the opportunity to be outside and enjoy Your creation.
Thank You for the increased time I have to be with my friends and family, and for the more casual pace of the summer season.
Draw me closer to You this summer.
Teach me how I can pray no matter where I am or what I am doing.
Warm my soul with the awareness of Your presence and light my path with Your Word and Counsel.
As I enjoy Your creation, create in me a pure heart and a hunger and a thirst for You.

Wishing you a safe and healthy summer.

We promise to keep you informed as plans evolve. Continue to monitor your Catholic Academy/ Parish School and Diocese of Brooklyn websites (https://catholicschoolsbq.org/).


Thomas Chadzutko

Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D.
Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services

Administrative Team Announced for Bay Ridge Catholic

Dear future Bay Ridge Catholic Academy families,

On behalf of the Board of Members and Bay Ridge Catholic Transition team, we are pleased to announce
the administrative leadership team for Bay Ridge Catholic Academy will be Mr. Kevin Flanagan as the
principal and Mr. Russell Berry as the assistant principal.

The selection of both leaders is the result of a comprehensive search process. Mr. Flanagan has served
as the principal at St. Anselm Catholic Academy for the past two years and Mr. Berry has served as the
principal at Holy Angels Catholic Academy for the past year.

We conducted a thorough search to find the best candidate for Bay Ridge Catholic, and are pleased to
know that the best candidates are those that already know and care for your children. We are confident
that Mr. Flanagan and Mr. Berry will be able to lead Catholic education into the 21st century at Bay Ridge

Prior to serving as principal of St. Anselm Catholic Academy, Mr. Flanagan worked as a Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Instructional Coach for the Pequannock Township
School District. In this role, Mr. Flanagan implemented a district-wide initiative to improve STEM
instruction for K-5 students in three schools. Mr. Flanagan holds a Master’s Degree and Educational
Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership, with administrative certifications to serve as a Principal,
Superintendent, and Supervisor. Additionally, Mr. Flanagan holds permanent teaching certifications for
Middle School Science, Middle School Social Studies, and Elementary School from Kindergarten to Sixth

The Search Committee felt that his experience in STEM would support Bay Ridge Catholic’s
implementation of the exciting new engineering and arts focus.

Mr. Berry taught social studies at Holy Angels for over 15 years prior to being appointed as the principal.
He brings a strong instructional background to the school. Mr. Berry holds two Masters Degrees and is an
avid supporter of the NY Mets! He intends to support BRC and help create a happy and safe environment
to allow all students to thrive at their new school.

Due to the coronavirus, we will be sharing online solutions so all future families at Bay Ridge Catholic
have an opportunity to hear directly from their new leaders. More information will be forthcoming.
Finally, the registration deadline of March 20th has been removed and we encourage all current and new
families to register online, through their Option C Parent Portal.

The Board of Members and Transition team are very grateful for the commitment to Catholic Education
displayed by these gentlemen. It’s our fervent prayer that as they lead our children forward in matters of
faith and academics that they be inspired by the Holy Spirit.

During this month of March, in which we honor St Joseph, we ask his intercession for our children, our
newly appointed leaders, and the families they will serve.

God bless you and your family during this time of uncertainty,

The Board of Members and the Bay Ridge Catholic Transition Team.

Parent meeting summary: February 11th, 2020

On February 11th, 2020, The Office of the Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services held a meeting to share information and update parents on progress regarding Bay Ridge Catholic. Representatives from the Boards of Members, Boards of Directors, and the Office of the Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services were present.

We would like to extend a sincere thank you to those who were able to join us for this parent meeting. It was a pleasure to spend time with so many of you and to share an update on the progress of Bay Ridge Catholic Academy.

At the meeting, each working team shared their accomplishments, activities in process and plans for their future goals. The presentation that was shared at the meeting is below. (Click on a slide below to view the presentation.)

We left the meeting feeling even more hopeful for the incredible work being done and for the incredible parent community supporting these efforts. “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers” (1Thes: 1-2).

Additional communications will be shared following the Mid-Winter recess regarding many of the topics discussed and questions asked. We hope you and your children have a restful, peaceful and enjoyable Mid-Winter recess.

In gratitude, The Office of the Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Service

  • Most Rev. Bishop James Massa, Vicar for Education
  • Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools ~ Catholic School Support Services
  • Maria Viesta, Assistant Superintendent for Academy Governance
  • Roxanna Elder, District Superintendent – Brooklyn
  • Elizabeth Frangella, Ed.D., Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Supervision
  • Joan McMaster, Associate Superintendent for Principal and Teacher Personnel
  • Ted Havelka, Director of Enrollment Management

Video: Bay Ridge Catholic Will Mold Innovators

When the new school year starts in September, two Brooklyn Catholic schools – Holy Angels Catholic Academy and St. Anselm Catholic Academy – will become Bay Ridge Catholic.

One of the big ways the curriculum at Bay Ridge Catholic will become a new model for a new world is through engineering.

“It’s understanding that they’re living in a different world and if we don’t prepare them for that we are doing them a disservice,” said Roxanna De Pena-Elder, the District Superintendent of the Diocese of Brooklyn. Read More

Video: What Does an Engineering Curriculum Do?

Including Engineering Design in the classroom will enable our teachers at Bay Ridge Catholic to bring real-world issues into the curriculum.

As we partner with ProjectEngin for professional development and teaching methods for our faculty, we want parents to also understand how teaching and learning are changing. Here is a description from ProjectEngin on the Engineering Design Process:

Engineering Design activities and projects can be used to teach creative problem-solving skills at all levels. Teachers can easily incorporate language arts, social studies, art, sustainability and social justice issues, along with core math and science concepts into Engineering Design challenges. Global imperatives, such as the need for adequate housing, access to clean water, reliable infrastructure, energy needs, and sustainability, will frame very real problems for the future citizens who are in today’s classrooms. Engineering thinking and processes allow young people to actively pursue solutions to these challenges, empowering them rather than simply informing them. This vision of a complete education is uniquely supporting by including Engineering Design practices, thinking, and culture in all classrooms.

As Catholic educators, these global imperatives relate to the Seven Catholic Social Teaching themes from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

We will be offering experiences to our parents in this Engineering Design process very soon.

The video below explains more about best practices for creating and running Engineering Design Challenges.

A Vision for Bay Ridge Catholic

On November 5, 2019, Holy Angels Catholic Academy and St. Anselm Catholic Academy held a parent meeting to provide additional information about the closing of the academies and the creation of Bay Ridge Catholic. Representatives from the Boards of Members, Boards of Directors, and the Office of the Superintendent ~ Catholic School Support Services presented a vision for Bay Ridge Catholic and held the first question and answer session for the new academy.

The presentation from the meeting is below. Click on a slide to begin the presentation.


Video: Two Catholic Academies Becoming One New Innovative Academy

Merger Will Form New Catholic Academy in Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge Catholic logoAt every Catholic Academy and Parish School within the Diocese of Brooklyn, our administrators and teachers work to ensure that your children receive the highest quality Catholic education. We strive each and every day to provide an educational experience that grounds our students in their Catholic faith and prepares them to thrive in the 21st century economy.

The Board of Directors, and the Board of Members, at St. Anselm and Holy Angels Catholic Academies are announcing the creation of a new Catholic Academy in Bay Ridge, to be called Bay Ridge Catholic Academy. It is an exciting new model and will be a modern academy to prepare students for success in school and life. Bay Ridge Catholic will be centered around faith, arts and engineering, and teach students the skills they will need to succeed in the modern economy.

The new academy, located in the current St. Anselm facility, will open in September 2020. After an extensive analysis of the buildings, the St. Anselm building was chosen as it is centrally located and user-friendly for all of Bay Ridge. The St. Anselm building is also large enough to accommodate the expected student population of over 400 students with additional room to grow in future years. Bay Ridge Catholic was created through the unanimous vote of the Board of Directors to merge St. Anselm and Holy Angels academies and is supported by the Board of Members.